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Do I need the Italian tires?

After almost 38,000 miles, I’m about to have to replace all four original tires on my 2005 Saab 9-3 (2.0T engine - base model). It came with Pirelli tires, which are now $168.99 each, plus labor. The tire store has given me a variety of other cheaper options for tires, including Continentals, Sumitomo, Falken, and Michelins. I’m thinking of going with the Continental Pro Contacts because they have a 60,000 mile warranty, but wonder if the Pirelli’s are better in some manner for handling, etc. Does anyone have any experience with replacement tires on a Saab 9-3? Thanks! It’s days like this that I miss my old Dodge.

Pirellis are good tires, but not unique. Check out your tire options at tirerack.com, it’ll have lots of info.

There is lots of tire information available at http://www.tirerack.com

Even if you don’t buy from them you can learn a lot just by reading about the different tire brands, types, etc, and you can search by tire size or vehicle.

No, you don’t need to buy Pirelli tires if you don’t want to.

What you need to do, however, is make sure the size and load range of the tires you are looking at match the car.

Those Pirellis are about $100 at Tire Rack, you might check into their ship and install program.

In addition to Tirerack, 1010Tires is also a good site for consumer feedback.
www.carbibles.com is a good place to learn about tires in general.

There are a lot of good alternatives. I’ve had bad luck with Continentals, but no experience with the others on your list. I have, however, been very happy with Hankooks, a very reasonably priced tire.

Visit the sites recommended and you’ll feel much more confident making a decision. Perellis are great tires, but you pay for the name. There are other affordable great tires.

Here’s some survey results fro Tire Rack for all-season, grand touring tires. If your tires are Pirelli P4000s, they are in the middle of the pack.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/surveyresults/surveydisplay.jsp?type=GTAS

38k is decent life from OEM and likely performance tires.

If you were happy with them go for it again. Realize every tire has a compromise in one way or another to give it unique characteristics and price.

Call around for prices a bit, they are all over the place.

For most people the difference between top tier tires and mid pack is not much.